San Antonio, Texas, May 11, 2017: Yesterday, a Bexar County jury sentenced Daniel Jeremy Torres, age 21, to 65 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and assessed a $10,000.00 fine. On Tuesday, jurors found Torres guilty in the murder of Jesse Richards, an Iraq War veteran.
On December 20, 2015, Torres and his brother, David Alexander Zuniga, confronted Richards, as Richards got off a bus near the 400 block of Porter Street, on the city’s east side. Richards, an Army Veteran who had completed three tours in Iraq, had just finished his shift at a Southeast side restaurant. Police believe the brothers were attempting to rob Richards, when he was shot. Richards was found lying in the middle of the street near the bus stop. He died from his injuries a short time later. During the trial, Zuniga and another brother testified Torres was the shooter. The murder weapon was never recovered, however, eleven days following the murder Zuniga posted a picture of the same caliber weapon used in the killing on his Facebook page.
During the punishment phase, the victim’s family testified of Jesse Richards sacrifice to serve his country, telling jurors that after serving his first tour of 15-months, he re-enlisted in the Army to serve two additional tours. They added that their family suffered a tremendous loss when he was killed. Torres’ mother testified he once threatened her with a screwdriver to her neck. Additionally, Torres was a convicted felon and a documented gang member.
“I am proud of the hard work and dedication of prosecutors Josh Somers, James Phillips, and their team to ensure Jesse and his family received justice,” said District Attorney LaHood. “This is by no means closure for them, but hopefully it’s the start of the healing process.”
In January, a jury sentenced Zuniga to life in prison for his role in Richards’ murder. Murder is a first degree felony, punishable by 5-99 years or Life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. Assistant District Attorneys Joshua Somers and James Phillips prosecuted the case against Torres.